This is why eastern Colorado doesn’t get nice lakes

Here is my dilemma. I am trying to build holding reservoirs in Eastern Colorado to store water for the front range and for my new city. There is only one logical place to have it and it is perfect because of all the water and the power that is necessary.

There are three reasons for having massive reservoirs.

  • Hydroelectric power
  • Irrigation
  • Water Storage
  • Possibly for recreation as well

Here is a map of the massive hydroelectric project that will cost about $1 trillion dollars to build

Water Canada

Water Colorado

Now I am thinking about building massive holding facilities in the only part of Colorado that I can “logically” build them. All the areas in the mountains (name for a few exceptions) are taken up by other water authorities. The northeast Colorado project has no major reservoirs or cities that have nowhere else to go. It is fed by a major river that has no fear of drying up, and it is also an economically slumped area. It has huge potential, however, for wind and hydro power. I am already planning a massive wind project for northeastern Colorado and for southern Colorado. There are also wind projects planned for Nebraska and Kansas.

Valley

 

Okay, here are the expectations.

North Dakota

Missouri

Montana

McConunagy

Okay, now let’s see how it looks. Ladies and Gentlemen, the three largest lakes in Colorado. We have Greeley Reservoir, Morgan Reservoir, and Logan Reservoir. The reality.

Reality

Okay, they’re big. Huge. Lakes.

Kersey

Morgan

Logan

Mind you, these dams are less than 200 feet high and the lakes themselves are about 100 feet deep. That is in comparison to Lake McCounagay in Nebraska and shallower than some lakes in Colorado. It is formed by building an earthen dam and by making it deep enough to produce power. The problem is that it is so flat there (and I’ve been down the I-76 corridor dozens of times) that the lakes turn out to be very very large.

Let’s look at the first reservoir, Greeley Reservoir.

Dam

15 mile long dam. The dam is 200 feet high and the lake sits at 4650 feet above sea level. That means that the land lower than that elevation in the South Platte River Valley behind the dam goes underwater. As you can see, it inundates Kearsey and it turns Greeley into a lakeside city. Greeley is 25 miles to the west of the dam.

Reroute 34

We need to reroute US 34

Kersey New

move Kearsey.

Develop

And Greeley can fill in around the site. Move around a few roads and neighborhoods, and you have a beautiful lake east of Greeley.

The second one is Morgan Reservoir. The dam is 200 feet high and the lake sits at 4300 feet above sea level.

Dam 2

Ten mile long dam to hold back a lake that is about 130 feet deep. Fort Morgan is 25 miles to the west of the dam. This was the most surprising for me considering the long branch to the south. Again, this is not a modification by me. I am just seeing how it would look if it was filled in such a fashion as a lot of them are.

Fort Morgan

Fort Morgan beats 4300 feet by about 10 feet. It just requires a lot of modification and moves.

Poor Brush

Brush isn’t so lucky. It is the same fate with a lot of towns.

Yay

 

On to the modifications, Fort Morgan gets to move to the south slightly.

New Brush

A new Brush is built.

More reroute

Reroute a major Interstate and railroad along with a few other roads. That looks to be about right…. and very expensive.

Dam 3

Logan Reservoir looks the best and does not require the modification of major cities. This one might actually work out for the best. Again, 10 mile dam built. 3900 feet above sea level

Reroutes

Reroute a few things. Okay!

Lessons:

  • Eastern Colorado is flatter than I thought.
  • There is a reason that Colorado has no yet (but should think about) using this valley for storage
  • We need to find some nice canyons. The lakes will look smaller and it would be easier to manage.
  • I need to find somewhere to store my water.

I have also explored Routt, Moffat, and Mesa counties for water storage. I have also explored the Cucharas, Huerfano, and Rio Grande river valleys as well. I thought it was interesting to share what I found out.

We should stick to old mines to make lakes.

Mines

Mines 2

That is how we usually do it in the plains. Although, some lakes are formed by huge dams (see Cherry Creek Reservoir).